Ranjit Chauhan and Zamarrud Mughal are two young literary activists and well-known names in Delhi’s Urdu circle who are organizing the Jashn-e-Adab which celebrated Urdu literature and poetry. Urdu as a language needs proponents to keep it alive. There are only a few conspicuous Urdu literary festivals in Delhi and there is certainly a need to enrich the culture space in order to revive Hindi and Urdu.
Literature has always played a key role in nurturing societies. It has been a source of inspiration and awareness for generations. It is also noted that due to a varied number of factors the Indian literature in has taken a back seat. The bestsellers in Hindi and Urdu are the ones that were written more than decades ago. This highlights the necessity for increasing the grandeur of cultural and literary activities in Urdu. In the last few years there are burgeoning festivals in the space of Hindi and Urdu Literature which attempts to take our heritage to the younger generations and Jashn-e-Adab Society for Urdu Poetry and Literature is one of Delhi’s such remarkable initiatives.
Kunwar Ranjit Chauhan is the founding secretary of Jashn-e-Adab, initiated in 2012, and is in its firth year. He started his career an engineer but later gave up his job at an MNC to pursue his heart calling in art and culture. He was ably supported by Mr. Qaiser Khalid(IPS). Since its inception it got accolades and support from stalwarts in both India and Pakistan. Dr Karan Singh, Mr Javed Akhtar, late Nida Fazli, Mr. Gopichand Narang, Ms.Shabana Azmi, Prof. Ashok Chakradhar, Dr. Peerzada Qasim , Ms. Kishwar Nahid, Asghr Nadeem Syed, Mr. Atta-ul-Haq Khasmi are few of the legendary literary figures who have been a part of the festival.
“We create an atmosphere to nurture Urdu and provide a stage to upcoming literary enthusiasts. Once, we even had a six year old recite Meer Taqi Meer”, says Ranjit.
Hailing from the hills of Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir, Dr. Zamarrud Mughal, Joint Secretary at Jashn-e-Adab, is known for his passion and zeal for Urdu. He not only has a doctorate in Urdu from the prestigious AMU but is also a powerful orator, versatile conversationalist, a poet and a critique. He is a columnist with a few leading online and offline Urdu dailies and magazines. His weekly column ‘paasbaan mil gaye’ was a great success. He has interviewed many prominent figures of Urdu like Javed Akhtar, some of which also have been televised, and is also affiliated to initiatives like Urdu Ghar. In his efforts to take Urdu beyond language he collaborates with other national poetry initiatives like Poetry Couture.
Zamarrud says, “Urdu has been my first love. I wish to share the beauty of Urdu through all the possible avenues and opportunities that I get.”
Usually, mushairas in the region had been limited to poet-conferences or book discussions/limit releases, etc., but Jashn-e-Adab extended these events to host panel discussions, debates, lectures, music, book festivals etc. to provide a complete picture of our literature. Thus making jashn-e-adab a platform for our culture and not just poetry!
One of the most mentionable aspects of Jashn-e-Adab is that they ensure that they invite eminent Urdu personalities from Pakistan in order to promote cultural exchange and dialogue between the two nations. The festival has been celebrated in multiple phases each year and approximately over 500 poets, writers, critiques, media personalities, theatre and film personalities have participated in various events hosted so far.
One of the unique ways the initiative gathered acceptance far and wide was through organizing mushairas and events in cities other than Delhi, like Roorkee, Raebareli, and Lucknow thus offering tier two cities an opportunity to showcase their literary potential at an international platform. The initiative has also introduced multiple awards to celebrate the literary contribution of individuals and organizations. Shaan-e-Urdu, Shan-e-Hindi, Paasbaan-e-Adab, and Jashn-e-Adab are the four awards that are given every year.
The recipients of the Shan-e-Hindi Award are Gopal Das Neeraj, Prof. Ashok Chakradhar, Dr. Kunwar Bechain, Uday Pratap Singh and Kishan Saroj for their outstanding contribution to Hindi literature. The recipients of the Shan-e-Urdu Award are Mr. Gopichand Narang, Ms. Kishwar Nahid, Mr. Sheen Khaf Nizam, Dr. Peerzada Qasim and Mr. Shamim Hnfi Pirjhada for their outstanding contribution to Urdu literature. Shams-ur-Rehman Farooqi, Ms. Kishwar Nahid, Khushbir Singh Shad, Dr. Peerzada Qasim and Mr. Javed Akhtar have been recipients of the Jashn-e-Adab. The Paasbaan-e-Adab award has been given to Jashn-e-Bahar Trust, Shankar-Shad Trust, Nina Kumar, Dr. Karan Singh, and Pakistan’s well-known artist Anwar Maqsood.
Jashn-e-Adab is hosting a three day (17th-19th March 2017) literary extravaganza to be hosted at IIC, New Delhi. The festival will be inaugurated on 17th March 2017 in presence of eminent literary personalities like Krishna Sobti and Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. The festival will include panel discussions, ghazals, qawwali, mushaira, plays, books and art exhibition. Festival will see renowned personalities from the world of Hindi-Urdu as Krishna Sobti, Irfan Habib, Qaiser Khalid, Danish Iqbal, Shamim Hafni, RJ Naved, Raza Haider, Aditi Maheshwari, Shagufta Ysmin, Kahlid Jawed, Meeta Vashisht, Abhigyan Prakash, Munnawar Rana, Krishna Sobti, Ashok Vajpeyi, Nasira Sharma, Mridula Garg, Shamshur Rahman Faruqi, Shahbaz Khan, Mohammed Alvi, Satyapal Anand, Hussein brothers, Sabri brothers, Akilendra Misra and many others.
The festival has an engrossing two-day schedule, with eminent personalities and brilliant performances, and is open to all.
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